Area consumer prices fell during 2013

Consumer prices in the Sherman-Denison area moved lower in 2013 compared to the national average, catapulting the area into the 10 least expensive places to live in the country. The pricing data was compiled as part of an annual, year-end review released by the Council for Community and Economic Research, which conducts quarterly analyses on costs of living in 308 urban areas. Sherman-Denison ranked as the seventh cheapest place to call home in 2013 after skirting the top 10 in 2012, when the towns placed 14th.

The cost of living in the area was 13.6 percent below the national average last year, an improvement from 11.2 percent in 2012. Sherman Economic Development Corp. President Scott Connell said the improving numbers dovetail nicely with an industry-wide focus on higher-quality workforces.

“One of the things we’re seeing right now — and probably will see for several years — is the focus on employees; both the ability to find the specific talents that they’re looking at, and the ability to attract those people to their facilities,” said Connell. “So a really effective cost of living in our market is going to help us build and grow our workforce. It makes it a lot easier to get people to our market.”

Denison Development Alliance President Tony Kaai concurred, noting that low consumer prices are not usually the first thing a relocating company sees, but remain an important tool in luring job-creating companies.

“We definitely use it because it is a positive thing,” said Kaai. “If you and another community or two other communities tie with business (costs), then that secondary level with quality of life, that’s when it can be a deal maker. So we’re fortunate to have all that. It’s added value.”

At 120.4 percent above the mean, Manhattan once again claimed the dubious honor as America’s most expensive city, with Harlingen defending its title as the nation’s cheapest city, 18.4 percent below the average. Each city’s score is listed as a percentage of 100, the national average.

Other areas on the top-10 least expensive list, beginning with No. 2, are: Pueblo, Colo., 83.4; Norman, Okla., 83.8; Memphis, Tenn. 85.4; Idaho Falls, Idaho, 85.6; Pryor Creek, Okla., 86.4; Sherman-Denison, 86.4; Covington, Ky., 86.5; Youngstown-Warren, Ohio, 86.5; and Jonesboro, Ark., 86.7.

Areas on the top-10 most expensive list, beginning with No. 2, are: New York (Brooklyn), 171.5; Honolulu, 169.1; San Francisco, 161.6; New York (Queens), 152; San Jose, Calif., 149.3; Hilo, Hawaii, 144.6; Stamford, Conn., 144.1; Orange County, Calif., 141.6; and Washington, D.C., 140.1.


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